Results tagged ‘ Ryan Zimmerman ’

Beating Nationals Boosts Yankees’ Hopes For 2013

GAME 33

YANKEES 4, NATIONALS 2

For nearly three hours on Friday Yankee fans saw their injury-riddled heroes play an exhibition game against a team that some believe might win the world championship in 2013 and what they learned is that this Yankee team just might measure up.

Andy Pettitte threw six strong innings, Kevin Youkilis homered and Mariano Rivera recorded the last three outs as New York defeated a powerful Washington team in front of a paid crowd of 38,161 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Pettitte (2-0) was touched for two runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks while he struck out six batters.

Meanwhile the Yankees scored all of their four runs in the fourth inning off Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (1-2).

Youkilis opened the frame with his sixth home run of the exhibition season. Travis Hafner followed with single and Vernon Wells doubled to left-center to move Hafner to third. One out later, Eduardo Nunez laced a two-run single.

The Yankees then added a run on a base-running mistake by Chris Stewart. The veteran catcher singled sharply to right, rounded first base too far and was caught in a rundown as Nunez reached third. When Nunez broke for home, Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa threw home to catcher Wilson Ramos. But the throw was too late and bounced off Ramos’ glove as Nunez scored.

The Nationals scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth when Youkilis committed a two-base throwing error on a ground ball off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman. One out later, Ian Desmond drove in Zimmerman on a single to center-field.

They added a run in the sixth when Zimmerman slapped a two-out double down the left-field line and Adam LaRoche slapped an RBI single to center.

Rivera, 43, followed Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson to the mound in the ninth and he needed only 10 pitches to dispatch the Nationals for his first spring save.

The Yankees exhibition season record improved to 14-18. The Nationals ended the season with the same mark.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Pettitte, 40, was masterful and totally in command throughout his six innings of work. What is more impressive was it came against what largely was the Nationals 2013 starting lineup and they led the majors last season with 98 victories. Anyone still want to make a case that Pettitte and the rest of  the Yankee starting rotation is too old and battered to be effective?
  • Nunez, 25, shone like a bright diamond in this game. Batting eighth, Nunez was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and two RBIs. His two-run single in the fourth proved to be game-winning hit. Though the Yankees seem to be at a disadvantage without their starting shortstop and captain, Derek Jeter, Nunez is proving to be capable replacement. He hit .293 on the spring and he looked much better in the field.
  • Teams can’t win division championships or go far in the playoffs without an excellent bullpen. The Yankees’ bullpen on Friday looked to be formidable with Chamberlain, Robertson and Rivera not surrendering a hit or walk in the final three innings.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Sloppy defense has been a problem for the Yankees all spring. Youkilis’ throwing error in the fourth cost the Yankees a run and was his fourth error of the spring, all of them coming at third base. I have said this before and it bears repeating: Youkilis is more skilled at first base than he is at third. 
  • Lyle Overbay made the team after a short three-day audition but he was not so helpful at the plate in this game. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and he did not get a ball out of the infield. Overbay did, however, have a pretty good game in the field. Though Overbay is not in Mark Teixeira’s class as a fielder, he is above average.
  • Ichiro Suzuki’s slump at the tail-end of the spring continues. He was 0-for-4 and grounded out weakly all four times. Suzuki’s spring batting average has fallen from a high of .462 on March 13 to .286. Over that span, Suzuki was 6-for-30 (.200). I don’t think fans have to worry about him too much. He is a career .322 hitter after all.

BOMBER BANTER

Teixeira, who is rehabbing a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist, told reporters on Friday that he is determined to return to the Yankees by early May. Teixeira was expected to miss eight to 10 weeks after he sustained the injury preparing for the World Baseball Classic in March. But Teixeira said he hopes to be back closer to eight weeks.  . . .  The Yankees officially confirmed on Friday that Overbay made the 25-man roster. In addition, veteran reliever David Aardsma was designated for assignment and right-hander Shawn Kelley was chosen to round out the bullpen.

PROJECTED 2013 YANKEE LINEUP (Not including players currently on the disabled list)

AGAINST RIGHT-HANDERS

  1. Brett Gardner CF
  2. Ichiro Suzuki RF
  3. Robinson Cano 2B
  4. Kevin Youkilis 3B
  5. Travis Hafner DH
  6. Vernon Wells LF
  7. Lyle Overbay 1B
  8. Eduardo Nunez SS
  9. Chris Stewart/Francisco Cervelli C

AGAINST LEFT-HANDERS

  1. Brett Gardner CF
  2. Ichiro Suzuki RF
  3. Robinson Cano 2B
  4. Kevin Youkilis 1B
  5. Vernon Wells LF
  6. Ben Francisco DH
  7. Eduardo Nunez SS
  8. Jayson Nix 3B
  9. Chris Stewart/Francisco Cervelli C

ON DECK

The Yankees will travel to West Point, NY, on Saturday as the team will end its exhibition schedule with a game against the Black Knights of Army.

Right-hander Adam Warren will start for the Yankees. Warren will open the 2013 season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Game-time will be at 2 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.

 

Yankees Swat Nats In 14 On Tex’s Two-Run Double

GAME 64

YANKEES 5, NATIONALS 3 (14 INNINGS)

As Mark Teixeira stepped to the plate in the 14th inning on Saturday with a runner on third and a runner on first and one out, he was 0-for-5 and he struck out his first three times to the plate. With reliever Brad Lidge on the mound determined to get him out he only thought of one thing: Look for a slider and let it rip.

Fortunately for Teixeira and the Yankees, with a 2-1 count he got a hanging slider from Lidge and he smacked it hard off the wall in the right-field corner of Nationals Park for a double to score two runs and New York held on to take a hard-earned win over Washington, which extended the Yankees’ winning streak to eight games.

Forgotten bullpen long reliever Freddy Garcia (1-2) set the stage for Teixeira’s heroics by pitching two scoreless innings to get credit for his first victory of the season. Rafael Soriano pitched around two hits in the bottom of the 14th to retire Bryce Harper on a routine groundout to get credit for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

Lidge (0-1) was saddled with the loss.

Jayson Nix started the winning rally by shooting a seeing-eye single in the hole between shortstop and third base. Nix later stole second and Derek Jeter, who was 0-for-6 as he stepped in, also singled to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Nix was held at third.

After Curtis Granderson strrck out, Teixeira then connected for what proved to be the game-winning hit.

The Yankees actually held a 3-2 lead after scoring two runs in the sixth inning that erased a 2-1 deficit to the Nationals.

Raul ibanez tied it with an infield groundout that scored Robinson Cano. After Nick Swisher was cut down at the plate on a comebacker to starter Jordan Zimmermann off the bat of Russell Martin, Eric Chavez gave the Yankees their first lead of the game with a double off the scoreboard in right-center that scored Martin.

The game stayed that way until Cory Wade entered the game in the seventh inning in relief of starter Andy Pettitte. Wade retired Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse on two pitches, however, Ian Desmond smacked a 2-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers to knot the game at 3-3..

Two batters later, Adam LaRoche slapped a single to right-field off Boone Logan and Tyler Moore, who was on second with a walk and a stolen base, attempted to score. But he was cut down at home plate on a throw from Dewayne Wise. The Yankees caught a break, too. Replays showed Moore actually touched the plate with his left hand on a head-first slide just before Martin tagged him on the left hip. But home-plate umpire Tim Timmons called him out.

So the game played on through another six very long innings.

Pettitte, who was in line for his fourth victory in his seventh start of the season, gave up two runs on five hits and three walks and he struck out six batters in seven innings.

His only blemish was giving up a two-run double to left-center by Jesus Flores in the second inning on a pitch that was up and out of the strike zone and broke Flores’ bat.

Zimmermann left after six innings having given up three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks and he struck out six.

The victory was the first time this season the Yankees won a game without the benefit of a home run. They were 0-12 in games without hitting a home run coming into the contest.

With the victory, the Yankees improved their season record to 39-25 and they remain 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Nationals dropped to 38-25.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Despite the home run Wade surrendered to Desmond, the bullpen was excellent and the true key to the victory. Wade, Logan, Clay Rapada, Cody Eppley, Garcia and Soriano combined to give up just the one run on four hits and two walks and struck out five in seven innings. Garcia escaped the 13th inning with the winning run on third by retiring Roger Bernadina on a groundout and Soriano got Harper to end the game as he represented the potential game-winning run at the plate. That is great relief pitching.
  • Pettitte deserved to have won the game a day after his 40th birthday. He turned in his third straight quality start and he and his deadly cutter set the stage for Harper, a 19-year-old rookie sensation, to endure one of his worst days as a major leaguer. He struck out five times in the game and was 0-for-7 overall. Of the five hits Pettitte surrendered, one was an infield hit and three others – including Flores’ double – were broken bat hits. Pettitte’s ERA was lowered to 2.77.
  • A substitution mistake by manager Joe Girardi in the eighth inning probably led to two things that actually allowed the Yankees to overcome the Nationals. When Wade entered the game to pitch in the eighth inning, Wise was brought off the bench to replace Ibanez in left. They were supposed to have been switched in the order so Wade would hit in Ibanez’s sixth spot and Wise would bat ninth. However, that was not communicated to the umpires. So when Logan was brought into the game with two outs in the eighth, Girardi was forced to bring in Jayson Nix to play left and Wise was moved to right-field. That was done so Logan could hit in Jones’ fifth spot and Nix could bat ninth. So when LaRoche singled to right, Wise (and not Jones) threw out Moore at the plate. Nix led of the 14th inning with a single, stole second and scored the lead run on Teixeira’s two-run double. Wise’s outfield assist and Nix’s hit and steal would not have happened had Girardi not made the substitution error. I guess Girardi would rather be lucky than good.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Going into the 14th inning, the Yankees were 0-for-18 with runners in scoring position. They scored their first run in the fourth inning on a two-out error by Desmond. Ibanez’s infield groundout in the sixth tied the game and, later that same inning, Chavez doubled in Martin from first to score the third run. Jeter’s single in the 14th and Teixeira’s double were the only two hits the Yankees got all day with RISP.
  • Although he walked three times, Granderson was 0-for-4 and had his six-game hitting streak stopped.
  • After Chavez’s two-out double in the eighth, the Yankees did not get another hit until the 14th inning when Nix led off with a single. They were 0-for 19 while drawing five walks and reaching once on an error.

BOMBER BANTER

Swisher was removed from the game in the sixth inning after he sustained a bone bruise in his left quad sliding into the plate and colliding with left shin guard of Flores. Swisher was called out on the play and he immediately limped into the Yankees’ dugout and was replaced in right-field by Jones. Swisher likely will miss Sunday’s finale of the series against the Nationals and he is listed as day-to-day.  . . .  The Yankees did not start third baseman Alex Rodriguez in order to give him a day off. Rodriguez did pinch-hit in 10th inning for Logan and grounded out.

ON DECK

The Yankees can sweep the series and the entire six-game road trip with a victory against the Nationals on Sunday.

Right-hander Ivan Nova (8-2, 4.64 ERA) will toe the slab for Yankees. Nova shut out the Braves on just five singles and a walk over seven innings on Monday in his last start. He will be starting against the Nationals for the first time.

Right-hander Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.02 ERA) will pitch for the Nationals. Jackson, who the Yankees have faced many times before, logged his fifth consecutive quality start in a victory over the Blue Jays his last time out. He is 2-6 with a 5.35 ERA lifetime against the Yankees.

Game-time will be 1:35 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by TBS and locally by the YES Network.

 

Despite 8-Run Fourth, CC And Yankees Lose To Nationals

GAME 8
NATIONALS 10, YANKEES 8
TAMPA — 42-year-old journeyman Matt Stairs laced a pinch-hit ground-rule double to tie the game and Bradley Suttle’s fielding error on Kevin Barker’s grounder allowed the lead run to score in the top of the seventh inning as Washington downed New York at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Saturday.
The Nationals actually pounded Yankee starter CC Sabathia and Joba Chamberlain for eight hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings to take a 7-0 lead. However, former Yankee Chad Gaudin and reliever Josh Wilkie gave up six hits and one walk to allow the Yankees to come back to take an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.
But the Yankees could not hold it.
Daniel Turpen (0-1) was tagged with the loss. Craig Stammen (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory and Adam Carr pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn a save.
The Yankees dropped to 2-5-1 on the spring and the Nationals improved to 4-2.
PINSTRIPE POSITIVES
  • Jorge Vazquez continued his fine hitting this spring with two hits in the game, including a big two-run double in the fourth inning off Wilkie that tied the score at 7-7. Vazquez is hitting a robust .583 with two homers and five RBIs.
  • Brett Gardner started the fourth inning off with a ground-rule double to left and scored on a fielding error by Brian Bixler. He then laced a one-out triple to right in the same inning to drive in Vazquez with the lead run to make it 8-7. 
  • Jesus Montero, who is now the frontrunner to back up Russell Martin at catcher, added two hits and an RBI to raise his spring average to .273.
  • With the Yankee pitchers giving up 10 runs it is hard to single out a pitcher, but left-hander Robert Fish pitched two solid innings of scoreless relief after the Yankees took their 8-7 lead. 
NAGGING NEGATIVES
  • Sabathia could not locate his fastball and he paid for it dearly. He faced 15 batters and gave up six hits (including two doubles and home run), walked two and struck out one. He threw 53 pitches and 25 of them were balls. Sabathia told reporters after the game, “I just didn’t have it today.” 
  • Sabathia has now given up exactly five runs in his second start of the spring in three consecutive seasons with the Yankees. 
  • Chamberlain was not much better. After ending the third inning in relief of Sabathia, Chamberlain gave up two runs on two hits and two walks. 
  • Turpen gave up two doubles and hit a batter but was not helped by Suttle’s error that allowed the tie-breaking run to score.
  • The Nationals first four batters — Jerry Hairston, Ian Desmond, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse — combined to go 7-for-14, they scored five runs and drove in six. 
BOMBER BANTER
Francisco Cervelli’s broken left foot has been placed in a boot and it will not removed for four weeks. Cervelli is expected to miss at least six weeks with the spring injury, something of which he is all too familiar. In 2008, Cervelli was involved in a home-plate collision with the Rays’ Eliot Johnson and suffered a broken wrist. In 2009, he was slowed throughout the spring with pneumonia and last season he suffered a concussion when he struck by a pitch from the Blue Jays’ Zech Zincola.  . . .  Right-hander Andrew Brackman, coming back from a strained groin, threw 10 bullpen tosses and then threw a simulated inning on Saturday. He will get a chance to pitch in a game next week. Brackman, 25, had hopes of making the team this spring but he likely will begin the year as a starter at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  . . .  Despite the work at the plate by Vazquez, Eric Chavez still appears to be frontrunner to back up at first and third base because of his defensive skills at third.  . . .  Montero took a foul tip off a knuckle on his right hand on Saturday but he stayed in the game.
ON DECK
The hard-luck Yankees will hit the road to Kissimmee, FL, on Sunday to meet the Houston Astros for the second time this spring. Phil Hughes will make his second Grapefruit League start for the Yankees. He will be opposed by veteran right-hander Brett Myers.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EST and the game will not be telecast.

Cano Gets “National” Reputation

YANKEES 5, NATIONALS 3

If the American League starting second base position was up to the Washington Nationals to decide Robinson Cano would get their unanimous vote.
After frustrating them for nine innings Tuesday night, Cano would win hands down.
All Cano did was go four for four at the plate and drive in two runs, including the double in the seventh inning that finally gave the New York Yankees back the lead. In the field, Cano turned in two gems to help preserve the lead and give the team a 5-3 victory.
The four hits tied Cano’s major-league high.
The Nationals, despite a major-league worst 16-45 record coming into the game, played the Yankees tough for the first six innings behind 22-year-old righthander Shairon Martis. Martis held the Yankees to two runs (one unearned) on just four hits and five walks.
The Yankees opened the scoring in the second inning with singles by Cano and Jorge Posada. After Hideki Matsui grounded out on a slow roller to first base, Martis walked Nick Swisher to load the bases. Melky Cabrera then launched a fly to left to score Cano.
The Yankees then added a run in the following frame thanks to a two-base error from third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on a Johnny Damon grounder. Zimmerman took a routine grounder but air-expressed the throw past first baseman Nick Johnson and the ball bounded down the rightfield line allowing Damon to take second.
A Mark Teixeira grounder to first base chased Damon to third. Martis, who admitted to MLB.com after the game that he was deliberately walking the Yankees tougher hitters, then walked Alex Rodriguez to bring up Cano.
Cano then rocked a line drive so hard that Johnson did not see it until it ricocheted off his wrist and bounced behind him to score Damon from third.
“I didn’t see it until it was two feet from me,” Johnson told MLB.com after the game.

The Yankees then turned to their ace lefty CC Sabathia to hold the 2-0 lead. He could not. Sabathia was touched up in the fifth inning by one-out singles from a pair of ex-Yankees, Alberto Gonzalez and Wil Nieves.

Then Nats second baseman Anderson Hernandez then shocked Sabathia, the Yankees and perhaps even his own teammates by golfing a 1-2 slider into the first row of the leftfield stands over the head of a leaping Damon. It was only the second home run of Hernandez’  major-league career and erased the Nats’ 2-0 deficit on one swing.

“I didn’t think I hit a home run right away. I saw Damon hit the wall and the ball came back,” Hernandez stated to MLB.com.

Martis retired the Yankees 1-2-3 in the sixth on just eight pitches, however, Manager Manny Acta chose to take him out because he had thrown 106 pitches at that point. But the Nationals bullpen has been house of horrors for the team all season and it reared its ugly head again on this night.

Damon greeted former Yankees lefty Ron Villone with a ground smash into rightfield. Teixeira followed with a double to left center that struck the wall and chased Damon home with the tying run. After Villone struck out A-Rod, Cano then launched a low line drive that Nats centerfielder Elijah Dukes appeared to have a play on. But the ball went over his head and scored Teixeira with the go-ahead run. 

“I thought it was going to be caught, but thank God he missed it,” Cano said to MLB. com.

Cano tried to stretch the hit into a triple but was thrown at third base.

The 26-year-old second baseman then broke out his glove to frustrate the Nationals even more.

In the eighth inning Yankees Manager Joe Girardi went to the bullpen with two out and Johnson at first base after a walk from Sabathia. Sabathia finished the night with three runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings, walking just the one and striking out two.

Girardi summoned righthand setup man Brian Bruney, who had just been activated from the 15-day disabled list that day. Bruney showed
no ill-effects, throwing at 96 miles per hour.  Zimmerman sent a grounder headed up the middle. However, Cano flagged it down after a long run and threw a strike to Teixeira to get Zimmerman for the final out of the inning.

After the Yankees added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a bloop single from reserve infielder Ramiro Pena, the Yankees summoned closer Mariano Rivera to pitch the ninth inning. Cano flagged down another potential hit headed for the hole between second and first off the bat of Dukes, He spun and fired to first to get the first out.

Pena later snagged a hard hopper up the middle by Austin Kearns to record the final out and give Rivera his 15th save in 16 tries. It also was the 497th save of Rivera’s career.

The victory also put the Yankees at 10 games over .500 and kept them 2 games down to the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.

Tomorrow night the Yankees will send Chien-Ming Wang (0-4, 14.34 ERA) to the hill to oppose lefthander John Lannan (3-5, 3.51 ERA). Gametime is 7:05 EDT.

NOTES:

Yankees captain and shortstop Derek Jeter left the game in the eighth inning with soreness in his left ankle. Jeter said it was actually a re-aggravation of an injury incurred Sunday afternoon on a hard takeout slide by the Mets’ Gary Sheffield in the fourth inning of 15-0 Yankees rout  . . .  CC Sabathia’s victory over the Nationals ran his season record to 6-4 . . . Cano’s two plays in the field actually were overshadowed by a diving catch made by centerfielder Melky Cabrera in the sixth inning. With one out and nobody on, Dukes blooped a ball in shallow centerfield. Cabrera dove headlong, caught the ball in the tip of the glove and the glove took two hard bounces on the turf that failed to dislodge the ball . The Yankees crowd rose to its feet and gave the outfielder a “Melky, Melky, Melky”  cheer  . . . In order to make room on the 25-man roster for Bruney, Yankees designated enigmatic righthander Jose Veras for assignment. Veras was 3-1 with a 5.96 ERA in 25 appearances, allowing 23 hits and 17 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings. He walked 14 and struck out 18, according to statistics compiled by MLB.com . . . Girardi makes no bones about the fact that Wang must step up and pitch well Wednesday night. He did not say that Wang would lose his spot in the rotation to Phil Hughes but it could be inferred by his serious tone.

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